Implementation of a fault tolerant computing testbed: a tool for the analysis of hardware and software fault handling techniques
Summers, David C.
Ross, Alan A.
Loomis, Herschel H.
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With spacecraft designs placing more emphasis on reduced cost, faster design time, and higher performance, it is easy to understand why more commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) devices are being used in space based applications. The COTS devices offer spacecraft designers shorter design-to- orbit times, lower system costs, orders of magnitude better performance, and a much better software availability than their radiation hardened (radhard) counterparts. The major drawback to using COTS devices in space is their increased susceptibility to the effects of radiation, single event upsets (SEUs) in particular. This thesis will focus on the implementation of a fault tolerant computer system. The hardware design presented here has two different benefits. First, the system can act as a software testbed, which allows testing of software fault tolerant techniques in the presence of radiation induced SEUs. This allows the testing of the software algorithms in the environment they were designed to operate in without the expense of being placed in orbit. Additionally, the design can be used as a hybrid fault tolerant computer system. By combining the masking ability of the hardware with supporting software, the system can mask out and reset processor errors in real time. The design layout will be presented using OrCAD schematics
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